Your website is often the first contact a prospective client has with your company, making website localization a critical component when it comes to earning business. That’s why leveraging website localization best practices is vital to ensuring your business is best prepared to compete in the market.
Many business leaders make the mistake of assuming that all their websites need to prepare is translation, but they require so much more—updating the marketing and SEO strategies, building the content architecture, and establishing the proper testing protocols are all necessities when it comes to website localization best practices.
4 Website Localization Best Practices
Ensuring a website is fit for a new market requires a team of experts, including engineers, marketers, and quality assurance professionals. Here are four website localization strategies that are necessary for overseas success.
#1: Build the international content architecture
You can’t just copy and paste new content in a different language directly on your site and expect it to be perfect. Ideally, you’ll want the user to be directed to your website in their preferred language, but this process will require a mapped-out strategy.
You’ll need to decide between the use of subdirectories or subdomains, and you may also need to consider website proxy services, but these aren’t the best option because they require ongoing payments. Another aspect that will bear consideration is all the microservices stemming from the website. Chatbots, forms, and other tools that users need require strategies for translation just as the website does.
On top of that, you need to set up the website to create flow. Websites are living resources that are continually changing; how will you ensure that the right jobs and updates are triggered for your new content when those changes happen? You’ll need a variable architecture that takes into account all required updates.
#2: Map the PPC/SEO strategies
Most multilingual websites exist to create leads—and how those leads come about is through pay-per-click (PPC) or search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Most of these strategies are established in English where the best keyword for a specific market is discussed and targeted with a content campaign. However, there’s no guarantee it will transition to a new market.
For that, you have to map the keyword to a counterpart that works in the target language. Establishing a glossary that marks these terms helps to drive the SEO strategy; otherwise, you’ll have to create the same process over and over again.
#3: Prioritize the marketing strategy
Some content is more important than other forms when it comes to website localization best practices. For example, the careers page of a website should be low on the priority list because it does little to bring in clients, but marketing should always be considered a top priority.
Brands need to find a way to update their content and drive sales. Not all campaigns will resonate in every market—in fact, they rarely do. Advertising is often lost in translation as various locales have different priorities, desires, and sales drivers. That’s why market testing is so helpful, as it allows brands to see precisely which phrases resonate before they complete a full launch.
#4: Establish QA and testing protocols
Quality assurance isn’t just functional; it helps ensure market acceptance. Every word may be right in the newly translated text, but that means nothing if it doesn’t meet the intended objective. It’s essential to use a program that allows for granular-level reporting. That way, you can monitor your results and see where to focus the most attention. This strategy needs to work for every iteration of a campaign. Every new launch requires additional testing to ensure it makes the right impression on users.
Bringing the Strategies Together
Two things will help you achieve all these website localization best practices in one place: collaborative localization management platforms and continuous localization. Through utilizing these two strategies, you can ensure your website is continually up to date while prioritizing the right content.
A collaborative platform holds all the company’s information needed to localize content. Through it, project managers connect directly with their linguists and complete translations in real-time. It can also manage a translation memory that powers machine translation built on corporate lexicons and chosen keywords. This component helps to preserve the SEO strategy and funnel content to the proper directories.
Continuous localization is an automated translation strategy powered on this platform. Once a change occurs on the original website, it triggers a project for the linguists. On completion of the project, it’s automatically uploaded to the website.
Website localization best practices are much easier to manage in a single, consolidated space that lets you take advantage of the successful campaigns of the past. It’s a necessity in supporting a structured continuous localization approach that keeps dynamic content current. Your website is the first thing that potential clients see, so leveraging a technology-driven localization strategy ensures a good first impression every time.